As kids my brother and I would always wake up at the crack of dawn (probably before the crack, actually) to find out what Santa had brought for us. We would rifle through our stockings and ooh and aah with excitement over the toys and goodies, and then we would go back to bed and IMpatiently wait for Mom and Dad to wake up. I don’t know how it started or how long ago, but we always had orange rolls with scrambled eggs for breakfast. Then of course was the waiting until the dishes are done and kitchen cleaned before we could open the gifts under the tree. A clever thing my mom came up with is printing out pages with family members names on them so that when we open a gift we can quickly write down who gave us what for future Thank You Note Reference We always made and decorated sugar cookies for Santa. I’m pretty sure Santa will always leave a special letter for Olivia after he enjoys his cookies from now on. My grandma makes ornaments for my parents each year with the date and a picture from that year. Now we love to set them all out in order and look at them with fond memories and sometimes some good old fashioned teasing about funny mustaches or old-school glasses. (which are totally in style now, by-the-way). My mom does the same thing for my family now! I hope I can be so creative and generous for Cade and Olivia someday. I remember decorating the house and tree together, too, which is a special family activity. My parents have written a Christmas letter almost every year. One of my favorite things during the weeks leading up to Christmas is to receive cards and letters from family members and friends to see their beautiful faces and hear about their lives in the past year. I hope to send a family photo card each year, too. Or maybe in this age of technology I’ll just post it on the blog, but taking the picture is sure to be fun each year ;) We drove around many a neighborhood looking at lights. Olivia already loves Christmas lights so we’ve taken several bundled up walks around the block to check them all out.
Some traditions since Jeff and I got married have come to mean so much to me. I like to make a special Christmas date night for us with fun, special food. A little together time before Cade comes home for the holiday. That will look different now that we have Olivia, but maybe we can carry it on anyway. I still like to have the same breakfast if we are celebrating at home or with my parents. Santa Claus has started bringing a Christmas movie each year, which is so cool! I’d love to continue making cookies for Santa, but someday I think it would be magical to have a North Pole Party. I also love the idea of new Jammies on Christmas Eve, but since Olivia and I are the only ones who wear Jammies maybe socks or shirts like these would work. We got an Advent House this year and Olivia likes to shut the little doors. She looks at the prizes briefly, but the doors are so much cooler. I think it would be fun to do a theme for the prizes each year, like things to make a gingerbread house or a doll house or tiny tree decorations. Emily has a neat tradition of the types of gifts they give as well as their wrapping paper. Each person has their own wrapping paper, but they don’t know which is whose until they find a scrap of it in their stockings on Christmas morning! They get something they want, something they need, and a surprise on Christmas morning as well as jammies and a book on Christmas Eve. I love this idea! I think it would be fun to open one family present on Christmas Eve that would be a game or movie tickets or something to DO together I took Olivia to sit on Santa’s lap and think it will be just adorable to have a picture with him each year. I love to make a nice treat for our neighbors and the milk man. This year I made cookie dough, inspired by
Jami. Jeff’s family has the fun tradition of going snowshoeing and then to the hot springs! We will be with them this year and I wonder if we will try to make that work with Olivia and her baby cousin Asher?! I long to instill the spirit of giving in the kiddos, so I really want to find a unique, fun and special way to give to others. There is the soup kitchen idea, and packing boxes with toys for children in other countries. But I think it would be cool to do something even more tangible for people even closer to us. I’ll be brainstorming that one. Of course I think it would be awesome to have technology free days during the holiday. No video games, no computer, and if the TV is on its only showing a Christmas movie. I don’t imagine that will happen in our house, especially with a teenager, but hey, a girl can dream.
What are some of your favorite traditions? I love to hear about why YOU love Christmas!